After a district court in Cologne, Germany banned religious circumcisions last month, and a decision that followed suit by two Swiss hospitals earlier this week, the Austrian province of Vorarlberg is the latest European community to join the fray.
Markus Wallner, the Governor of Vorarlberg, located in Western Austria, has told hospitals to suspend religious circumcision procedures until the legality of the act is clarified by the court system.
The move is expected to greatly effect Vorarlberg’s Muslim community, which makes up just over 8% of the provinces population. Following the German court’s ban in June, Jews and Muslims joined together to voice their opposition to the ruling.
The Cologne ban will be fought in Germany’s Federal Constitution Court – the equivalent of the U.S. Supreme Court – and German Chancellor Angela Merkal has publicly voiced her opposition to the circumcision ban.
According to the Jewish Chronicle, Wallner acknowledged that his decision to instruct local hospitals to institute a ban, is a “precedence-setting judgement”.